I mentioned on Twitter yesterday about this "theory" I guess you can call it, about the concept of 'countrymen', and my belief that the our respective African countries as we know them to be, disrupt the true design and destiny of our people as God intended. It's easy for me to say this as a religious person who follows the faith - Christianity. Nonetheless I still thought it would be worth sharing, and hearing people's thoughts.
DISCLAIMER: This post vaguely explores religious beliefs but it not intended to be insensitive to contrasting faiths. The findings stated in the below post are emphasised as views of the author only.
So I was having the most random conversation with a person I met, and they decided to share with me that they were a Jehovah's Witness. We got to talking about their upbringing in the faith, they shared some of their experiences with me, and the conversation quickly turned into a discussion about the Christian faith and it's indirect impact. Specifically, the idea of governance and what we know it to be. The origin of the idea of governance can be dated way back to biblical times. There was a presence in some capacity, of some "second-tier ruler", someone that you can obey here on earth, that is supposed to guide you. That individual or entity is supposedly directly below God, in the sense that they construct the laws that an individual occupying a land, should live by. Like a government of a country or the local equivalent to a head of state. Some have even gone as far as to say they have been "ordained by God", to govern a group of people. I want to discuss my theory that the concept of "countrymen" was enforced on Africans by these individuals and entities, for personal gain, needless to say it was catalyst for the demise of Africa, this was the act before colonisation took place.
So I've spoken about what did exist back in Abrahamic times, now lets discuss what there was no mention of and the main reason why we're all here right now. The concept of "countries". There were no lines that were drawn out to indicate a particular land being called *country X* - territories were established by their placement along the sea. What did exist, was tribes; right back to the 12 tribes of Judah, there have always been only groups of people. People with different identities and different forms of communication. Many borders of Africa as we know them today, were carved up at the Berlin Conference 1884 - 85.
The forming of governments as we know them, is contradictory to the religious values they claim to stand for. Now back to my friend who is a Jehovah's witness, in the midst of our religious discussion, they said something that really stood out to me, about the concept of Baptism (I know, it's quite random). It was along the lines of:
"even Jesus, who was preaching to people from the age of 5, received a baptism at age 33. Baptism is supposed to be a certificate of your dedication to the religion, and so Jesus himself was baptised, because he wanted to show the world that even he still looks to God"
Now, we're not here to debate each other's beliefs but I personally thought that was powerful. Why? Because it got me thinking about governance, and where it comes from. The the notion of being "directly under God" in my opinion is actually ungodly. Claiming that *your* specific allegiance to the faith, is what has placed you in the position of power that you are in, almost as if you are a God-like institution on earth. You are the law and the one who decides how people live rightly or wrongly.
Many Western countries i.e. U.K. and USA to this day, pride themselves on being Christian countries, and so the lawmakers of that country perform and enforce acts which place them within a specific group, the religion. Likewise with many other countries in Europe who have one predominantly mainstream religion (which is typically a sect of Christianity or Catholicism). These countries still practice things like swearing on the bible and requiring people to register the birth of their child with the 'Church of England' for example, in order to prove your very own existence. These acts of "allegiance" to a faith I guess you can call it, allow them to act with a self-awarded power. Despite the fact that the actions they portray do not represent the faith they are apparently falling under. It occurred to me that you can apply this when talking about the demise of Africa as we know it to be. Riddled with corrupt leaders who have adopted the concept of "governance" from people who set out to harm us in the first place, it's sad.
Having such power enabled the colonisers of old to manipulate not only people but even territories. Drawing lines across the continent of Africa and naming them 'countries', and making 'countrymen' out of tribesmen. Why do you think there is not one African country that has one universal language? ...
When you come to England, people are speaking English, when you go to Germany, the language is German, likewise in Spain it is Spanish, and in Italy it is Italian. You get my drift. But in Africa, why don't all Congolese people speak 'Congolese'? Or all Ghanaian people speak 'Ghanaese' or why isn't there a 'Nigeria Language' - this simply does not and will never exist. There will never be one language that represents every person in any one African country, because we are not 'countrymen' we are groups of *people*, groups of people with different identities and different forms of communication like I stated in the beginning. But we are leading with a label given to us by people who only wanted to use us for their own personal gain. So it made sense to group random people together and tie them to one place, because it's easier to govern them under an artificial identity. Just because it works that way for the rest of the world, does not mean it was meant for Africa, in my opinion this is one of if not the most detrimental thing that happened to us Africans. Before we even knew what 'colonisation' was, the division killed us first...
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